7 August 2013 at 12.40pm | Comment on this article
After two years developing their skills alongside professionals at the Royal Opera House in Thurrock, four ROH apprentices recently completed their training, receiving awards to celebrate their achievement at a ceremony held at Covent Garden.
Education Tours and Events apprentice Jamie Ashwell, Exhibitions Apprentice Georgia Butler, and Technical Theatre Apprentices Jun Chan and Anna Marcangelo collected their awards – presented by ROH Interim Chief Executive Sally O’Neill. The ceremony was attended by the apprentices’ family and friends; ROH mentors and colleagues; college tutors; and apprentice scheme funders.
The apprentices developed their skills and knowledge through working on productions (building sets for The Royal Opera’s Rigoletto and La bohème, and lighting for Eugene Onegin), ensuring awards ceremonies such as the BAFTAs ran smoothly, working alongside producers and artists as part of Royal Ballet LIVE, staging ROH Collections exhibitions and organizing the visit by the Olympic Torch to Covent Garden during London 2012.
Exhibitions Apprentice Georgia was the subject of a Twitter Q&A in March 2013 to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. Asked about what attracted her to the scheme and where her experience lay before joining, she said: ‘I worked in childcare and then in recruitment. I’ve always loved the arts but I didn’t have the qualifications for any of the full-time positions so an apprenticeship was a great way in’.
With her training completed, and a qualification in Cultural Heritage (Collections Management) under her belt, Georgia is broadening her experience. She has begun a BA (Hons) in Humanities through the Open University as well as a placement with the National Theatre in London. The other apprentices have similar plans to study or use their experience to work within the arts.
Apprenticeships at the Royal Opera House are generously supported by the Derek Butler Trust, John Lyon’s Charity, The Headley Trust, the Ashley Family Foundation, Gordon Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers Charitable Trust and an anonymous individual donor.